November 17, 2007

Missouri Surges in Second Half to Defeat Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri can finally look ahead.

Led by freshman wide receiver and all-purpose guru Jeremy Maclin, the Tigers defeated Kansas State 49-32. They will play Kansas for the Big 12 North Division title Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Fourth-Down Gamble Pays Off for Missouri

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri coach Gary Pinkel decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The decision turned out to be a good one. The Tigers scored a touchdown.

Missouri leads Kansas State 42-25 with 9:28 left in the game.

Quarterback Chase Daniel jumped and tossed the ball to tight end Martin Rucker for the touchdown.

Kansas State is running out of time to catch up with Missouri.

Kansas State Responds

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After forcing Missouri to punt out of its own end zone, Kansas State used a short field to score a touchdown.

On third-and-18, quarterback Josh Freeman found wide receiver Ernie Pierce for a 20-yard touchdown.

Missouri leads 35-25 late in the third quarter.

Missouri's Maclin Having Another Big Day

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has scored his third touchdown of the game.

Missouri leads Kansas State 35-18.

Somehow, Maclin got behind the KSU secondary on third-and-17. Quarterback Chase Daniel escaped pressure, rolled out and hit him for a 44-yard touchdown.

Kansas State needs a touchdown on its next drive.

Missouri's Runs Out to Quick Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed only 59 seconds to score a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. Kansas State needs to keep up and probably gamble on fourth downs this half.

Missouri leads Kansas State 28-18.

Tailback Tony Temple broke some big runs (15 and 12 yards) for the Tigers after gaining only 10 yards in the first half. He capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Kansas State Outplayed Missouri in the First Half

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State is playing better than Missouri, but the Wildcats trail 21-18 at halftime.

Kansas State has outgained Missouri 248-145 in the first half. It controlled the clock 17:14-12:46. So how are the Wildcats behind?

Two KSU drives stalled inside MU's 10-yard line. Coach Ron Prince elected to kick two short field goals instead of going for it on two short fourth downs (fourth-and-1 in the first quarter and fourth-and-2 in the second).

Special teams' lapses cost KSU. It got two extra points blocked and surrendered a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

KSU also needs to stop beating itself. A fumble recovery in the first quarter was negated by a 15-yard penalty for illegal hands to the face. It didn't cost the Wildcats, however, because Missouri didn't end up scoring on the drive. In the second quarter, wide receiver Deon Murphy was wide open on a crossing route, but he dropped a pass, forcing a three-and-out.

Missouri has to stop Kansas State running back James Johnson and get the ball back in quarterback Chase Daniel's hands. Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards in the first half.

The Tigers get the ball to start the second half. If they score a touchdown, they'll be up 10 points without dominating the Wildcats.

Getting Back to Normal

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The craziness has abated. Both teams failed to score on their last drives.

Missouri leads Kansas State 21-15 midway through the second quarter.

Earlier in the quarter, Missouri tight end Martin Rucker caught a 8-yard touchdown pass, capping off an 81-yard drive. Quarterback Chase Daniel finally threw downfield, hitting Jeremy Maclin for a 23-yard gain.

Block Party in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Special teams have cost Missouri. Kansas State's Ernie Pierce just returned a blocked Missouri punt 32 yards for a touchdown. But the Tigers blocked another extra point.

Kansas State leads 15-14.

Special teams are the difference so far. Missouri returned a kickoff for a touchdown and has blocked two extra points.

Kansas State Running Well

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State running back James Johnson just brought his team back. He ran up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked.

Missouri leads 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers' rushing defense looks suspect so far. Johnson has had gaping holes in the middle, gaining 119 yards on 10 carries.

Missouri's Jeremy Maclin Breaks Record

MANHATTAN, Kan. - With a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin just broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for all-purpose yards gained by a freshman. It was also Missouri's first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1982, which was the longest drought in the country.

Missouri leads 14-3 midway through the first quarter.

Maclin broke the record set by Rutgers' Terrell Willis in 1993.

Before the kickoff, Missouri made a goal-line stand. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman tried a quarterback bootleg on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but he was stuffed. The crowd wanted the Wildcats to go for it, but they kicked an 18-yard field goal.

Missouri Strikes Quickly

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed just 1 minute, 7 seconds for its first score. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman threw a pass directly to safety William Moore. Two plays later, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel threw an 8-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

The Wildcats must answer quickly. The crowd is subdued.

Before Colliding with Kansas, Missouri Takes on Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In the past, Kansas State has dominated Missouri here. "History's on K-State's side," the main headline proclaimed on the front page of the Manhattan Mercury, underscoring how Missouri has lost eight consecutive times at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

But a smaller headline revealed this season's reality: "Tigers' offense presents many problems for KSU," it read.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) has had its glory. Now Missouri (9-1, 5-1), ranked No. 5 in the BCS standings, is trying to claim its share. The Big 12 North is not the only possible prize. A national championship is also obtainable.

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